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Mississippi Delta

January 25, 2010 | Bob Drogin
Dr. Aaron Shirley has devoted his career to serving the rural poor in the Mississippi Delta, but now the 77-year-old pediatrician believes the key to reducing the nation's highest infant mortality rates lies in a surprising place: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Never mind that America and Iran broke diplomatic relations after militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, or that the White House is seeking new United Nations sanctions to punish the regime for its nuclear development program.
December 1, 1985 | Associated Press
Folks who want to beat their feet in the Mississippi mud will find less of it available than in the past, a new government study shows. Sediment discharged by the mighty river has been reduced by half in the last 35 years, and this may be a factor in receding shorelines in the Mississippi Delta, the U.S. Geological Survey reports. The study said the dramatic drop in sediment carried by the river occurred following construction of several large dams on the Missouri River in the 1950s and 1960s.
August 31, 2008 | Kay Mills, Special to The Times
He started out here 60 years ago, singing the blues on a street corner for dimes. Now, less than three blocks from that corner, the legendary B.B. King will soon have his own museum. The B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center is set to open Sept. 13, three days before his 83rd birthday. The museum honors the man who Rolling Stone magazine says "is universally recognized as the leading exponent of modern blues." It is but one in a surprisingly long list of attractions in the Mississippi Delta -- surprisingly long only if you've never visited the region.
May 24, 1987 | LEON DANIEL, United Press International
"The economy is pathetic," Postmaster Sammie Burchfield said. "Food stamps, welfare and Social Security are all that keep us going." A woman modern enough to insist that she is not a "postmistress," Burchfield still can recall fondly the good old days when, in the Mississippi Delta, cotton was king. "During World War II we had three gins running," she said. "We had a hotel, two drugstores and three doctors." Alligator, near the Mississippi River, 88 miles south of Memphis, Tenn.
The day Cleo Dunnings said goodby to her daughter, they both realized a bitter fact of life: The road to success often leads one way--straight out of this Mississippi Delta town. With no job and no strong prospects, Donna Dunnings Sidney moved north, following a route many of her peers have taken, packing their skills, their dreams and part of this town's future.
CAN'T BE SATISFIED The Life and Times of Muddy Waters By Robert Gordon Little, Brown 408 Pages, $25.95 Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner wrote in the magazine's first issue in 1967 that though its name refers to the old saying "A rolling stone gathers no moss," the magazine's name was inspired by Muddy Waters, who first used it as a song title. It was also from this song title that the Rolling Stones took their name.
June 28, 2009 | Jon Gambrell, Gambrell writes for the Associated Press.
The swampland here still tries to reclaim its past, swallowing up concrete foundations reinforced with steel beams and spitting out its buried dead. The past haunted Dyess Colony's most famous resident, Johnny Cash, his entire life. His older brother was killed here when a workshop blade cut through his body. This is where the Big Muddy came in 5 feet high and rising, where a young Cash let cotton picked off the vine dissolve in his mouth. That past remains visible in Dyess, tucked into the corner of northeast Arkansas among dirt roads carved out of the muddy fields by Depression-era workers.
October 28, 1990 | JANICE ARKATOV
Awoman travels the bumpy road from prostitute to Ph.D. in Endesha Ida Mae Holland's autobiographical tale, "From the Mississippi Delta," a 17-character piece (played by three actresses) opening tonight at the Itchey Foot Ristorante downtown, an entry in the Mark Taper Forum's literary cabaret series. "It's a tribute to her mother and other African-American women who saved their children from poverty and despair," said Shirley Jo Finney, who's directing the staged reading.
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